environmental citizens organization

The Great Gulp – caring for the environment at St John the Baptist School

Big gulp photo2On Tuesday April 5th, Eco team leader Betty de Groot and students from St John the Baptist School in Bolton participated in Big gulp photo1The Great Gulp! The school held an opening celebration of their newly installed Water Bottle Refilling Station, which they were able to acquire thanks to the Town of Caledon’s Green School Fund. The school has a long term goal of helping students and their families switch to using refillable bottles. To find out why this is so important, take a look at this you tube video:

New Year, New You, and a Healthy Environment!

10… 9… 8… 7… 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… HAPPY NEW YEAR!

With the beginning of the new year, it was time to sit down, reflect on my 2015 resolutions, and make plans for the year ahead. For the last several years, I have vowed to get healthy, read more, volunteer in my community, and learn a new language.

!! GET HEALTHY – Over the last couple of years, my family and I have done our best to eat healthy and get active. This resolution is always being adapted and will continue to top our list every year.

!! READ – In 2014, I joined a book club. I have been reading non-stop ever since.

!! VOLUNTEER – As for getting involved in the community, I joined ecoCaledon back in January 2015, combining my resolution to get involved with my passion for creating a sustainable future.

!! LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE – As for learning a new language, well, that resolution is still a work in progress.

On the heels of the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris and the bold targets and commitments set forth, I thought it was time to add a few “green” resolutions to my list. While I am already quite passionate about conservation and reducing waste, I knew that there was more I could do to reduce my carbon footprint.

Being “green” does not mean a huge investment of time or money. There are a number of low and no cost ways to make a big difference to the environment.

Here are my top five “GREEN” resolutions for 2016:

1) EAT Meatless Meals and BUY Local – Trim meat consumption by cutting out meat just one day of the week. Meat production is a major contributor to climate change and livestock production is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gases (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization).

Where our food comes from is also a factor in climate change. The average meal travels over 1,200 kms from the farm to our plate (David Suzuki Foundation). Food that is grown closer to home will have fewer emissions, and will be fresher and more nutritious.

2) “TAKE Back the Tap” and KICK the Bottled Water Habit – It takes millions of barrels of oil to produce plastic water bottles each year. Even though they are recyclable, a large percentage of plastic water bottles get tossed into the trash or end up polluting our oceans (David Suzuki Foundation).

3) PACK a “waste-less” Lunch – Packing a “waste-less” lunch is one way to make a difference for our environment. Some simple tips include: using a reusable lunch bag and water bottle; reducing waste by purchasing in bulk and then placing food items in smaller reusable containers; and, placing unwanted food scraps and peels in the green bin. This may mean bringing scraps home if there is no access to a green bin at work or at school.

4) ELIMINATE Phantom Power – Some equipment use energy even when switched off. Cut expensive waste by unplugging phone, tablet, and laptop chargers when they are not in use.

5) Get CONNECTED to Nature – Spending time outside makes us healthier and happier. As residents of the Town of Caledon, we do not have to travel far to get connected to nature, we have access to a number of beautiful trails and outdoors spaces. Get connected!

Looking forward to making 2016 the GREENEST year yet!


Recycling information

Don’t forget to visit the Region of Peel website to remind yourself of what can and cannot be recycled. There is a lot of information on the website, this page is a good place to start.

The Region is always looking for ways to divert more waste from landfill and as new technologies or equipment become available, the range of materials that can be recycled is increased. It is a good idea to check back a couple of times a year to make sure you are up to date!

Select new garbage and recycling bins before Mar 31

The garbage and recycling program in Caledon will be undergoing some changes in 2016. Before these changes are implemented, residents will be provided with new garbage, recycling and organics carts. Although the new service is nearly a year away, preparations are already underway, so if you wish to choose the size of your new garbage and recycling carts, you need to do so before March 31st 2015 (only one organics cart size is available). If you do not choose the sizes by this date, they will be selected for you. Visit to find out more and make your selection.

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Town of Caledon’s Festive Green Initiative

Town Hall Green Tree

Energy & Environment team tree

This past December the Town of Caledon hosted its first ‘Green Holiday Tree Challenge’ which involved challenging all Departments and Facilities to build their own tree based on the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle). To get the event started the Energy and Environment team built a Green Holiday Tree for Town Hall composed of recycled egg cartons and hung daily tips for how to ‘Green’ your holiday.

Public Works Green Tree

The winning design!

On December 19th the trees were showcased in the Atrium of Town Hall and with the help of  Mayor Thompson, Judy Porter (Director of Human Resources) and Councillor Nick deBoer, Public Works Department was selected as the winner for their tree made of recycled bottles, pop cans and tin cups.

Stay tuned for more Green initiatives from Town Hall in 2015!


Some of the other entries are shown below: Office of the CAO, Corporate Services, POA Office, Mayfield Recreation Complex, Policy Planning.


Office of the CAO Green TreeCorporate Services (Finance&IT) Green TreePOA Office Green TreeMayfield Recreation Complex Green TreePolicy Planning Green Tree



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Green present-wrapping

Before you dash out into the fray to buy some brand new sparkly paper to wrap your presents, have a look at what you have round the home! Did you keep some of the wrapping paper from presents you received last year? For small or irregularly-shaped gifts, any creases from previous use probably won’t show. Another alternative which has caught on in my family is to circulate and recirculate a few favourite gift bags containing a present adorned, not wrapped, with a few pieces of tissue paper (which can be reused too). But the option that I prefer is to wrap gifts in the brightly-coloured comics pages of newspapers. They look really cheerful and the paper is very well suited to the job, being more flexible and stronger than traditional wrapping paper. Save money while you help the environment!

Children lead the way at Caledon Day!

I can’t recall the first time I learned about recycling or being eco-friendly. Much like today’s upcoming generations, reducing, reusing and recycling has become an integrated and assumed part of everyday life. It’s just something we do.


This past weekend I volunteered with EcoCaledon at Caledon Day. It had never quite dawned on me until that moment how important the practice of recycling was. As I ran a life size board game for children about being eco-friendly, I found myself stunned time and time again as children as young as four answered questions correctly about the environment. They were able to distinguish the difference of materials that go in compost, garbage or recycling. They answered questions about how much garbage Canadians produce per year and were easily able to name the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse and recycle). All the while, most parents watched in shock as their child answered questions that, some admitted, they didn’t even know the answer to themselves.


The main reason for this is the vast amount of education provided in schools today. From the minute children enter kindergarten, they are taught to separate their garbage from their recyclables. Some schools even have a compost program in place. Young children are taught about upholding their values as citizens of the world, about doing their share to ensure the earth stays clean and garbage production is kept to a minimum. It is great to see how simple it is to teach something like recycling to generations who will one day be leaders in this world. Perhaps they too, will be able to teach older generations the importance of reducing their impact on the earth.

Erica Giancola

Painted rain barrels from 2013

Volunteers needed for Caledon Day

This year, ecoCaledon will be playing a larger role than ever at Caledon Day, 14th June!

We’ve been asked by the Region of Peel to help with the effort to ensure that materials used at Caledon Day are recycled appropriately.

As well as this, we will be featuring our Painted Rain Barrels, as in years past. The proceeds from selling the painted Rain Barrels go towards bursaries for local high school students who are pursuing environmental programs in their continuing studies.

And after last year’s great success, we will be busy once again running eco-themed activities for children in the KidZone, including the “RecycOlympics”. This year we will also be welcoming Green Ambassadors from local schools who will be demonstrating how they have participated in our “Waste Not” and “Cool Schools” educational programs.

Last but not least, we are launching our new “Walk the Talk” initiative, which encourages people to find ways to reduce their Carbon emission footprints. We will be running a Carbon IQ quiz and doing a survey to find out how we can best help and encourage citizens of Caledon to join us in this challenge. People can also sign up for our first “Walk the Talk” workshops on reducing energy use in the home, due to start in Fall / Winter 2014.

We are very excited to have so many activities at Caledon Day and we are looking for some extra volunteers to help us provide the best possible experience for visitors. Opportunities include: advising members of the public on recycling; supervising activities in the Kidzone; distributing information leaflets about ecoCaledon’s programs; running the Carbon IQ quiz; engaging visitors in our survey.

If you can help on Caledon Day, or with setting up and tidying away before or after the event, please contact us at or leave a message on 905  584 7366905 584 7366.

Some of our volunteer opportunities are suitable for High School students’ community involvement hours.